SFI-NSF I-Corps@SFI Entrepreneurial Training Programme (ETP)
Are you an SFI-funded researcher with a transformative idea based on deep tech? Are you ready to turn your idea into real-world impact? Would you like to participate in one of the world’s most renowned entrepreneurship and innovation training programmes?
The SFI-NSF I-Corps@SFI Entrepreneurial Training Programme (ETP) supports research teams based at Eligible Research Bodies to participate in the NSF I-Corps Teams programme. The NSF I-Corps Teams programme provides researchers with real-world, hands-on, immersive learning about what it takes to successfully transfer knowledge that benefits society. As part of this programme, researchers discover impact opportunities through application of the NSF I-Corps evidence-based entrepreneurship methodology. This assists them to identify significant opportunities for their research, enhance the quality of evidence in assessment of that opportunity and reduce the time and risk associated with translating promising ideas to impact.
The SFI-NSF I-Corps@SFI Entrepreneurial Training Programme is intended to support researchers based in eligible Research Bodies to develop entrepreneurial skills that will enable them to realise new opportunities for their research that will, in turn, lead to economic and societal impact. A key overarching objective of the programme is to foster entrepreneurial culture within Research Bodies by enhancing awareness of entrepreneurship and promoting entrepreneurial thinking and skills amongst researchers at all career stages.
The objectives of the SFI-NSF I-Corps@SFI Entrepreneurial Training Programme are to:
- Support researchers to develop skills in entrepreneurship and innovation.
- Enable researchers to realise economic and societal impact opportunities from publicly funded research.
- Accelerate the translation of publicly funded research to impact.
- Raise awareness of entrepreneurial thinking and skills amongst researchers at different career stages.
Applications to the SFI-NSF I-Corps@SFI Entrepreneurial Training Programme should be submitted from teams seeking to explore economic and societal impact opportunities from research supported under an SFI award.
Teams must comprise three members:
- a Principal Investigator (PI) – It is expected that the PI will provide administrative and technical leadership on the grant and oversee project management. The PI should have appropriate technical expertise and currently work in a STEM-related discipline. Upon successful application, the PI will be the grant holder.
- an Entrepreneurial Lead (EL) – The EL is expected to have the necessary technical expertise relating to the proposed technology along with the motivation to lead the opportunity discovery/validation activities of the team during the programme and progress translation of the technology following completion of the programme. The EL plays a critical role in the team and is expected to have a deep commitment to discovering impact opportunities. Postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers interested in technology entrepreneurship are encouraged to participate as Entrepreneurial Leads.
- an Entrepreneurial Mentor (EM) – The EM is expected to bring independent entrepreneurship, industry or relevant domain expertise to a team and to serve as a mentor to the PI and EL, assisting in the identification of stakeholders and advising on technology disposition. In addition to providing mentorship to the PI and EL, it is expected that the EM will play a significant role in advising the team on the translation strategy (e.g., commercialisation) based on the learnings from the programme. Ideally, the EM would be willing to continue their engagement with the EL and PI following completion of the programme.
Each team member must satisfy several eligibility criteria that will be outlined in the programme call document.
Applicants can request funding of up to €35k direct costs (no overheads are awarded under this programme) for a period of up to 6-months. Funding will be awarded on a competitive basis and requests must be fully justified.
Teams successful at application stage will participate in the NSF I-Corps Teams programme which is an intensive 7-week training programme delivered by the NSF during which teams will receive training in evidence-based entrepreneurship and undertake extensive opportunity (e.g. stakeholder, beneficiary, customer) discovery activities. Through participation in the programme, teams will gain valuable insights on unmet needs, problem-solution fit and impact potential of their idea. Teams will benefit from mentoring provided by highly experienced NSF instructors. Teams will also have the opportunity to learn from other research teams participating in the programme.
Applicants should note that participation in this 7-week training component represents a significant time commitment. Each team member is expected to contribute to in-depth preparation and attendance. It is expected that team members will make appropriate time commitment to the programme (approx. 15 hours per week for participating and preparing for the I-Corps events, opportunity discovery and problem-solution fit validation activities).
|October 9th, 2023||January 19th, 2024, 13:00 Dublin Local Time|
|Call B||January 22nd, 2024||March 15th, 2024, 13:00 Dublin Local Time|
|Call C||March 18th, 2024||May 24th, 2024, 13:00 Dublin Local Time|
|Call D||May 27th, 2024||July 19th, 2024, 13:00 Dublin Local Time|
Applications open on SESAME from October 16th, 2023.
Under the SFI-NSF I-Corps@SFI Entrepreneurial Training Programme 2023 Call, there are two application tracks:
- The standard track is open to researchers (Principal, Co-Principal or Funded Investigators) who currently hold, or are funded by, any active SFI grant or an SFI grant active in the past 3 years. Applications to the standard track must be submitted via SESAME. Following submission, applications are checked for eligibility. Applications that are not deemed eligible under the programme call will be notified and their application will be withdrawn.
- The accelerated track is open to researchers (Principal, Co-Principal or Funded Investigators) who currently hold, or are funded by, any active SFI grant awarded under an affiliated SFI programme. Prospective applicants interested in applying to the accelerated track should contact their relevant SFI Programme Manager/Officer and the I-Corps@SFI programme team (at email@example.com) in advance of application preparation. Following discussion, an accelerated track application form may be made available to prospective applicants. Applications to the accelerated track must be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can book a 30 min meeting with a member of the I-Corps@SFI Programme Team between 10:00 and 12:00 every Tuesday and Wednesday if you wish to discuss any technical difficulties or questions regarding the programme or application process. Please book a meeting by clicking here.
If you don’t feel you are quite ready to apply to the Entrepreneurial Training Programme but would like to develop entrepreneurial skills that will allow you to realise new impact opportunities, then the I-Corps@SFI Academy may be an alternative.
The I-Corps@SFI Academy is local training support intended to prepare researchers to apply to the Entrepreneurial Training Programme. The I-Corps@SFI Academy provides researchers and RPO staff with training in evidence-based entrepreneurship and innovation practice. It operates at a slower pace and focuses on building skills in evidence-based entrepreneurship.
For more information, please see I-Corps@SFI Academy.